Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Instrument that was in Demand before it Existed

What do the Serpent, Ophicleide, Bass Horn, Russian Bassoon, Helicon, Bass Saxhorn and the Sousaphone all have in common?  Give up?  They are all forms of what we now call the tuba.

The tuba is the largest and lowest sounding member of the brass family as well as being the youngest brass instrument.  The tuba itself was in demand long before it was actually invented.  Many inventors and instrument makers attempted to satisfy the need of composers, bandmasters and orchestra conductors for a brass instrument that could supply the bottom end of the music along with the bassoon and the string bass.

During the 1820s, various instrument manufacturers produced the ophicleide, a precursor to the tuba. It was a type of keyed-bugle instrument that could reportedly produce a pitch as low as F. However, these instruments were difficult to play. In 1835, the first bass tuba was patented by Johann Gottfried Moritz (an instrument maker) and Wilheim Wieprecht (a bandmaster). It was completely distinct from the keyed ophicleide in that it was equipped with a new type of short piston valve called the Berliner-Pumpe.

In 1849, the Helicon Bass was introduced.  It was a circular coiled instrument that was meant to rest on the player’s shoulder.  It has been said that, John Philip Sousa, the famous American bandleader, commissioned C. G. Conn to manufacture his redesigned ophicleide which eventually became known as the sousaphone.  One opposing piece of information states that it was actually J. W. Pepper that suggested the design to Sousa and manufactured the instrument 5 years before C. G. Conn.

The tuba can be found in many kinds of ensembles ranging from the symphony orchestra to Dixieland Jazz bands.  The tuba is capable of being more than a bass instrument that supports the other string and woodwind bass instruments in an ensemble.  Concertos have been written for the tuba using it as the featured performer.

FYI:  The first Friday in May is International Tuba Day which celebrates tubists around the world!

If you are interested in owning a piece of tuba history, stop in at the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd., Green Bay, WI 54301.  We have an William Frank Helicon Bass made around 1915 on display and it is for sale!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Time to dance, Trish, it’s the Clarinet Polka!

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

While I was growing up, many Saturday nights were spent at a relative’s wedding reception.  The highlight of the reception was the dance that followed the usual chicken and ham dinner.  Unlike many of the wedding dances today, they always featured a live band.  Since I am of Czechoslovakian heritage, the bands were always polka bands.  There was one piece that I always looked forward to hearing, usually featuring a man with a black, tube-like instrument.  I marveled at how rapidly his fingers flew over the silver keys producing a multitude of sounds ranging from low, dark tones to the high shrill tones.  It was a fun piece to listen and dance to.  I can still hear my dad saying, “Time to dance, Trish, it’s the Clarinet Polka!”

The clarinet is a woodwind instrument played with a single reed.  The modern clarinet developed from a Baroque instrument called the chalumeau.  This instrument was similar to a recorder but with a single-reed mouthpiece and a cylindrical bore.  It had a limited range of only one and a half octaves.  German instrument maker, Johann Chrisoph Denner, is credited with modifying the chalumeau by adding a register key, thus increasing the playing range of the instrument. This instrument played well in the middle register producing a loud shrill sound.  It was for this reason that it was given the name clarinetto, meaning little trumpet.

The clarinet family is the largest woodwind family with more than a dozen types.  The most common is the Bb soprano clarinet which is the primary beginning instrument.   The other more common members of the clarinet family found in orchestras, bands and other ensembles are the Eb Soprano, the smallest and highest, A soprano, Eb Alto, Bb Bass and the very low and more rare, Contra-Alto and Contra-Bass clarinets
Here are just a few interesting bits of trivia concerning the clarinet:

  • Excluding the saxophone, the clarinet is the most recent addition to the woodwind family and was the last woodwind to be included in the symphony orchestra.
  • Julia Roberts played the clarinet in bands when she was in school.
  • Steven Spielberg can be seen playing the clarinet in an orchestra early on in his movie “Jaws.”
  • One of the most popular symphonic clarinet solos is the one in George Gershwin’s  “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Whether you are interested in playing the “Clarinet Polka,” some New Orleans Jazz or a Mozart Clarinet Concerto, you can find an instrument that will fit your style at the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd. Green Bay, WI, 54311.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Meet Erich

Meet Erich Rusch- Co-Owner, Repair Technician, Rental 

Manager, Road Representative and IT Manager

Q. Where did you go to school? 
A. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where I graduated with a B.A. in Music and a Psychology minor. I then attended Southeast Technical College in Red Wing, MN for Band Instrument Repair, graduating in 2001.   After graduation, I found my way to Green Bay where I started my career in the music industry. I have been working in the music business for the past 12 years.

Q. What is your favorite instrument?
A. The tuba is my favorite instrument.  The tuba is the foundation and the meat and bones of the brass section, it can be found in several different groups.  Such as Orchestra, Concert Band, Polka and many other different ensembles.  The tuba is one of a kind and an unique instrument, just like myself!

Q. What do you love about working at Instrumental Music Company?
A. I love just about everything with working at Instrumental Music Company!  I like being able to take on many different projects in the store and to help oversee all different aspects of it as well.  It is a great family orientated place to work with a very fun atmosphere.  Our customers are great to deal with and I enjoy helping them with their musical needs!  It’s always great to either find an accessory that helps improve their musical experience or to do a repair that helps improve their instrument.  I love working with all my fellow co-workers, the comradely is great between all of us and it’s like having a second family!  It’s a very relaxed environment to work in!

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of Instrumental Music Company?
A. Currently I do not have the time to play in any groups outside of Instrumental Music Company.  In the past I have played with the Pulaski Community Band, Manitowoc Marine Band and Topless Brass (a group just featuring euphoniums and tubas).  I do attend a fair amount of music concerts of all genres outside of work!

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. To find an instrument that you really enjoy and that fits you and your personality well!  To keep practicing and to keep challenging yourself!  When first beginning a new instrument it can be very hard and frustrating at times.  If you can get through those times the rest will be easy and fun for you.  Once you learn an instrument it will stay with you for life!

Is That a Violin? No, It's the Viola!

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

If you have attended orchestra concerts, you may have noticed that the violins are usually seated to the left of the conductor’s podium, the cello section is seated to the right of the conductor with the string bass section standing behind them.  Seated somewhere between the violin and the cello sections is an instrument that looks very much like a violin. This instrument is held and played just like a violin. It is the viola, the second highest sounding instrument in the string family.

The viola was developed in Italy and was used to describe any bowed stringed instrument. Today, the name is used for the alto member of the violin family. The viola is an almost exact replica of the violin, though slightly larger and with thicker strings, its pitch is a fifth lower (and one octave above the cello).  The viola has a rich, deep, beautiful sound. The strings are tuned to C G D A and the alto clef, also known as the C clef or viola clef, is used except in the upper register when the treble clef is used. This is done in order to avoid ledger lines.

There is no standard size for violas.  A viola should fit the player.  The size makes a difference in the distance a musician must reach to the fingerboard of the instrument as well as the distance between the fingerings on the fingerboard.  Violas range in size from 12”-14” for an intermediate size viola and 15”-16 ½” for a full-sized instrument. 

The viola is an integral part of the orchestra and the string quartet.  Originally, many composers didn’t know what to write for the viola, so the viola was given only the harmony part.  Into the 20th century, the viola was given a more prominent role and is sometimes featured as a solo instrument.

Here are a few interesting viola facts.  Bach, Beethoven and Mozart were accomplished violists who actually preferred the viola to the violin.  The American rock band, Velvet Underground, used the viola in most of their songs and Jimi Hendrix played the viola when he was young!

Stop in at the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd, Green Bay, WI 54311 and check out our selection of string instruments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Double Your Rebate This Saturday!

Music, Food, Fun and Savings

Double Your Rebate- One Day Only!!

SATURDAY December 7, 10am - 4pm

If you or your child are ready to move up to a step-up or professional band instrument, NOW is the time to do so. Instrumental Music Company is offering their lowest prices of the year on all band instruments.  Additionally, Yamaha is offering $50 - $100 mail-in rebates on most models during the current Step Up To Yamaha promotion.  These rebates will be DOUBLED for sales transacted on Dec. 7, 2013.  On this day IMC will be extending an additional 10% discount off our already low discounted prices on most everything in the store. 12 month and 18 month deferred interest financing is available to qualified buyers.

Great savings for musicians on:

  • Band Instruments and accessories
  • Orchestral String Instruments and accessories
  • Guitars, Basses, Ukuleles, Banjos and accessories
  • Amps
  • Pro Audio
  • Drum Sets
  • Drum accessories (Sticks, Drumheads, Cymbals, Stands, pedals, etc.)
  • Keyboards
  • Mic stands
  • Cables
  • Music stands
  • Print Music

IMC will have live holiday music performances throughout the day including:

  • 10:00-10:45  IMC guitar instructor, Frankie Salerno
  • 11:00-12:15 IMC Employee Sax Quartet
  • 12:30-2:00  Sam Stranz Jazz Combo
  • 2:15 – 3:30 Bill Dennee Brass Quintet

FREE grilled food and sodas courtesy of Chef Randy

REGISTER to WIN (no purchase necessary)
Grand Prize: Winner’s choice of a Yamaha Digital Recorder or Yamaha Gigmaker Acoustic Guitar Package
2nd prize : $50 IMC Gift Certificate
3rd prize : $25 IMC Gift Certificate
Drawing to be held on 12/7/13 at 3:45PM. Winners need not be present.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meet Annette

Meet Annette-  Customer Service Specialist/Road Representative

Q. Where did you go to school? 
A. I have a Bachelor of Music from St. Norbert College and a  Master of Music from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Q. What is your favorite instrument?
A. My favorite instrument is the French Horn. I love the versatility of the horn. Not only does one play with other brass players in a brass quintet, but the horn also is a member of the woodwind quintet. You will also see the horn in both the concert band and symphony orchestra settings. I also love the timbre of the horn. From the warm and mellow to the bright and brassy!

Q. What do you love about working at Instrumental Music Company?
A. Instrumental Music Company cares about its employees. They are flexible with working with me on being able to go to my rehearsals and concerts in the evenings, being able to leave work a bit early so that I can get there safe.

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of Instrumental Music Company?
A. Yes, I do plenty outside of Instrumental Music Company. I play my French Horn all over. I am principal horn for the Sheboygan Symphony. I also perform with the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra, Silver Lake Wind Ensemble, Chalumeau Winds Woodwind Quintet, Manitowoc Marine Band and various other groups. I am also a member of the 132nd Army National Guard Band. And, from time to time, teach lessons in what spare time I have!

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. My advice for the beginning musician is to keep on trying! Learning an instrument for the first time can be very difficult. Your facial muscles and finger muscles are doing something for the first time that they are not use to doing! Practicing helps to build up your muscle strength and memorization, along with air control and support. Remember, it’s not a breeze instrument…it’s a WIND instrument!

The Instrument with the Funny Name

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

My first encounter with the instruments of the string family came when I was in the fifth grade.  The music teacher at my school said she had just received a brand new cello and it was just my size!  I was intrigued with its “funny” name and yes, it was my size, standing about as tall as I was.  It was a beautiful instrument with its reddish brown color and curved features.  I was told to sit down and the teacher placed the instrument and me in the proper playing position.   I gently plucked the lowest string and immediately heard this deep resonating sound that I could actually feel.  I knew at that moment, my journey into the string world was about to begin.

The cello is the second largest instrument in the string family.  Upon first glance, the cello looks like a big violin.  Since it is larger than the violin, the cello sounds much lower and is played while seated, with the performer’s legs on either side of the instrument.  The cello has an endpin which rests on the floor supporting the instrument.

The cello is made of wood, typically spruce for the top and maple for the back, sides and neck.  In less expensive instruments, the top and back are made of laminated wood.  Ebony, a hard black wood is usually used for the fingerboard, nut and tuning pegs, though other hardwoods such as rosewood or boxwood can be used.  The top and back of the cello has an inlay border called purfling.  While decorative, it is also functional.  If the instrument is struck, it can prevent cracking of the wood.

The cello can be played pizzicato, meaning to pluck the string or with a bow.  The bow is generally made of pernambuco or brazilwood.  The bow hair is traditionally horsehair but synthetic hair can also be used.

My journey with the cello ended after eighth grade sadly, because our high school did not have a string program.  I did take another instrument in high school which I eventually majored in while pursuing my music degree.  I always dreamed of getting a cello at some point in my life, so after I retired, I purchased my very own cello from the instrumental Music Company.
Stop in at the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd, Green Bay, WI, 54311 and maybe your dream may come true too!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet Randy Derge

Meet Randy Derge- Senior Instrument Repair Technician

Q. Where did you go to school? 
A. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Washington County for two years before attending a one year band instrument repair program at Southeast Technical in Minnesota. I have been repairing instruments for 35 years and have grown very comfortable with repairing both brass and woodwind instruments.

Q. What is your favorite instrument?
A. My favorite instrument to repair and modify is the saxophone. I am constantly amazed at the design, function and variety of these instruments as well as the  possibilities they present. However, I enjoy working with all the brass and woodwind instruments that I come across in my profession.

Q. What do you love about working at Instrumental Music Company?
A. Working at Instrumental Music Company truly is a pleasure for me. I take pride in being a part of a locally owned business with a friendly, family-like atmosphere.

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of Instrumental Music Company?
A. Unfortunately I do not currently play any instruments myself, but I enjoy listening to many different styles of music in my free time.

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. The most important advice I can give to new musicians is simply practice, practice, practice. Private lessons are also very helpful. It takes a long time to master an instrument, so do not give up. Music is something you will enjoy for your whole life.

The Third Oldest Instrument to Make Music

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

After the human voice and the drum, what instrument is considered to be the third oldest instrument to make music?

Throughout history, what instrument has been made of bone, wood, ivory, plastic, glass, resin, nickel – silver, silver, gold and platinum?

What instrument has a head, a body and a foot?

If you answered the flute to all three of these questions, you are either a really good guesser or a music history genius!

In its most basic form, a flute is simply an open tube which makes its sound similar to blowing across the top of a pop bottle.  This reed-less woodwind instrument produces a sound by blowing air across a hole in the head joint of the instrument producing a vibration of air at the hole.  The air must be directed at the correct angle and speed or else the air in the flute will not vibrate. A flute player can change the pitch of the sound produced by opening and closing holes in the body of the instrument thus changing the length of the tube. 

The Western concert flute is the most common variant of the flute.  It is a transverse or side-blown instrument most commonly made of metal or wood.  This type of flute is used in many ensembles including concert bands, military bands, marching bands, orchestras, flute ensembles and occasionally jazz bands.

The standard student flute is usually a closed –hole (plateau keys) instrument made of nickel with silver plating.  Advanced or professional flutists tend to play an open-hole instrument made of more expensive materials such as sterling silver, silver/gold and even platinum. 

If you are interested in renting or purchasing a flute for a beginning student or upgrading to a better instrument, come to the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd, Green Bay WI 54311 and try a flute from our fine selection of Yamaha, Pearl, Jupiter or Gemeinhardt instruments.

Just one more bit of trivia. If you play the flute, you have something in common with George Washington, James Madison and Leonardo da Vinci.  These three famous men played the flute too!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Meet Patrick Yagiela

Meet Patrick Yagiela- Band Instrument Repair Technician

Q.  Where did you go to school?  What was your degree in?
A. For my bachelor’s degree I studied Music Education at Saginaw Valley State University back home in Michigan.  In 2011, I completed the two-year band instrument repair program at Western Iowa Tech before starting here at Instrumental Music Company.

Q. What is your favorite instrument and why?
A. I’m a big fan of Irish traditional music so my favorite instrument is probably the flute.  In Irish traditional music the flutes are mostly wooden and have very few keys compared with modern flutes and both of those aspects enhance the rich, velvety tone of the instrument.  Either that or the uilleann pipes.

Q. What do you love about working at Instrumental Music Company?
A. I really enjoy the people I work with.  Each person really has a unique background and experience.  Chuck is so knowledgeable about vintage saxophones, mouthpieces and accessories, and Randy remembers all kinds of features that were present on older models of brass and woodwind instruments.  Sometimes I just find myself struck by just how much they know.

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of Instrumental Music Company?
A. My wife Melissa and I both play saxophone and are community members at the Silver Lake College Wind Ensemble.  I’m also in the process of arranging the tunes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for a jazz quartet to perform at a friend’s coffee shop around Christmas.

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. Be patient with yourself, and be honest.  Playing an instrument can take some time to build your ability to where you want to be and it doesn't happen overnight.  Sometimes it can be frustrating when you don’t feel you are making the progress you want to make, we all feel that way from time to time, but take a step back, set a goal for yourself and work there bit by bit.

The "Little Flute" is Not a Little Thing

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

During the summers of my high school and college years, I played with my hometown’s community band.  Our biggest performance of the summer was always the 4th of July and the most memorable piece played during that concert was John Philip Sousa’s, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”  The highlight of that march came when the entire flute section, switching to piccolos, stood to play that famous obbligato as the rest of the band played the familiar patriotic melody.  John Philip Sousa, America’s legendary bandmaster, may have had the greatest influence in introducing the piccolo to the public through his exciting march.

Piccolo is the Italian word for “little.” The complete name for the instrument is “flauto piccolo” which means “little flute.”  The piccolo is approximately half the size of a flute and made up of two parts.  Usually made of nickel silver, sterling silver, plastic or grenadilla wood, the piccolo is the highest pitched member of the woodwind family, playing notes that are one octave higher than its relative, the flute.

The piccolo is mainly used in an ensemble, often being heard in marching bands, orchestras, chamber ensembles, and even jazz bands.

As a former beginning band teacher, one question I would sometimes get from young students was, “why can’t I play the piccolo?”  Though small in size, the piccolo is more of an advanced instrument.  The flute is the preferred starting instrument because the piccolo does have some challenges with embouchure formation and tuning.  Once the student has a good foundation and understanding of the flute and has played the flute for a few years, the piccolo can then be attempted.  Some basic techniques learned on the flute can be transferred to the piccolo.
In selecting a piccolo, one must consider in which type of ensemble you will be playing.  The silver -bodied instruments have greater projection and therefore are more suitable for marching band.  The wood and plastic instruments have a mellower tone and may be more appropriate for symphonic or concert work.

If you are a flutist with the desire to learn the piccolo, please come to the Instrumental Music Company, 2908 Ontario Rd. Green Bay, WI 54311 and try out one of our Yamaha, Pearl or Jupiter piccolos.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Meet Steve DeVillers

Meet Steve DeVillers- Co-Owner of Instrumental Music Company

A Green Bay native, Steve graduated from Preble High School and from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a BM in Music Business. To further his education, Steve attended Yamaha Sales Mastery seminars at Yamaha's corporate headquarters. During the day you will find Steve out on the road making his daily stops at area elementary, middle and high schools. In his free time, Steve plays trumpet in many local musicals and music groups and enjoys summer weekends on his boat in Door County. He is currently manager of the Green Bay City Band. 

Contact Steve at:

The Year of the Trumpet is About to Begin!

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

It was the start of another school year and as usual, I had just finished my instrument presentation to a new group of potential 5th grade band members.  It was now time to begin the fitting process which involved having the students try the instruments that interested them the most.  I showed them how to form the correct embouchure (mouth formation) and then they would try to make a sound on the mouthpiece and eventually the instrument itself.   I would listen for a good sound and the ease in which the student produced the sound.

After the students tried the instruments they wanted, I would ask which instrument was their first choice.  To my amazement, the instrument that 35 out of 100 students chose that year was the trumpet.  The year of the trumpet was about to begin!

The trumpet is made of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc.  It is the smallest member and therefore the highest pitched instrument in the brass family.  Though relatively short and compact compared to other brass instruments, the trumpet contains about 6 ½ feet of tubing.  The tubing has a cylindrical bore meaning that the diameter of the tubing remains consistent throughout the length of the tubing.  This is what gives the trumpet its bright and vibrant sound.

A sound is produced on a trumpet by vibrating or “buzzing” the lips on a cup shaped mouthpiece.  Tightening or loosening the lips produce the higher and lower tones.  The use of the three valves changes the amount of tubing that is used and therefore increases the number of notes that the trumpet can produce.

The trumpet is found mostly in bands.  Concert bands, marching bands and jazz bands are the most common ensembles, but the trumpet is at home in the orchestra as well. It is a versatile instrument that can play from classical to rock, jazz, polka and even country music.

In choosing a trumpet, it is important to consider the age and skill level of the musician as well as the kind of group and music being played.  Whether your musician is a 5th grade beginner, a progressing middle or high school student or an accomplished professional, IMC has an instrument for you.  IMC carries three of the most popular brands of trumpets, Jupiter, Yamaha and the made in America (Wisconsin actually), Getzen brand.  

The year of the trumpet did end on a “good note”.  I had all 35 trumpets play a portion of Jeremiah Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary” (easy version of course) for the spring concert.  It was awesome!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Meet Chuck Iken

Meet Chuck Iken- President of Instrumental Music Company

Q. Where did you go to school?
A. I went to Ashwaubenon High School and attended University of Wisconsin- Green Bay for college. 

Q. What is your favorite instrument?
A. For a solo instrument, Piano because you can play complex chords and passages. For an ensemble instrument, I like the Baritone sax because I like the raspy bass sounds it produces. 

Q. What do you love about working at Instrumental Music Company?
A. I enjoy the challenge of maintaining inventory for our customer's needs. I also love seeing an OMG moment when a client I'm helping tries a product (instrument, mouthpiece, etc.) that I recommend and they are amazed that this product can help them play better and sound better.

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of Instrumental Music Company? 
A. I played in back up orchestras for numerous entertainers including The Four Tops, The Temptations, Johnny Mathis and the Manhattan Transfer. I played in the Green Bay Packer Band from 1978-1992 and I currently play in the CP Telethon Orchestra. 

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. Keep playing, the longer you play, the more fun you will have. Playing an instrument is something you can enjoy for the rest of your life. As golf is to sports, so is playing an instrument to art. 

The Violin Recital of a Six Year Old

Author: Pat Scasny- IMC Representative, Retired Green Bay Public School Instrumental Music Teacher

Last week I attended my godchild’s violin recital.  She approached the stage, turned to the audience and with pigtails flopping, made a profound bow.  She looked so professional as she placed her instrument in playing position, lifted her bow and began her performance. Mary Kate is six years old and has been playing the violin for almost two years.  I was impressed with the progress she had made since I last heard her play but even more impressed with the confidence and poise she displayed while performing.  This was an amazing feat for a usually shy six year old girl.

Did you know that the violin is one of the most popular instruments for children? One possible reason is, unlike band instruments, stringed instruments come in a variety of sizes to accommodate smaller hands and arms. At six years old, Mary Kate is playing on a 1/16 size instrument.  Within a few months she will move to a 1/10 size violin.  We call these smaller versions of the 4/4 or full-size violin, fractional sizes.  The most common violin sizes are: 4/4 (full-size), ¾, ½, ¼, 1/8, and 1/16.

There are two ways in which your child can be fitted for a violin. One is by age and the other is by arm measurement.  Using the age method, you will get an approximate size for your child.  For instance, I have found that many of my 10 year old students usually fit a ¾ size instrument.  I also have had students with longer arms and bigger hands that needed the 4/4 (full-size) instrument as well as some very small 10 year olds that played the ½ or ¼ size violins.  The more accurate method of fitting is by arm measurement.   With the left arm and hand fully extended out perpendicular to the body, the arm is measured from the neck to the middle of the left palm.  Having the correct size violin will allow your child to be more comfortable while playing, improve hand positioning and help your child to play the correct notes.

If you have any questions concerning the proper fitting of a violin for your child or need assistance, feel free to stop in at IMC, 2908 Ontario Rd. Green Bay, WI.  Whether you’re interested in our convenient rental program or purchasing a new or used violin, all of our instruments are IMC certified and teacher-preferred, brand name instruments.

By the way, Mary Kate’s enthusiasm for the violin has rubbed off on her 4 year old sister, Therese, who will be starting violin lessons soon!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Saxophone 101- Before you Buy

The saxophone tends to be one of the most popular instruments. It is so coveted that band directors usually recommend starting aspiring saxophone players on clarinet because of its ease of transition to sax and the initial lower cost. Most beginners start with an Alto Sax but a few will start on the larger, lower pitched Tenor Sax. 

When considering a purchase it is very important to take into consideration the quality of the instrument.  It is important that the sax plays in tune with itself and equally important that it plays in tune with others. 

Think you can handle the sax?  
IMC carries the most popular band director recommended brands: Yamaha and Jupiter, which have stood the test and proven themselves to be worthy of their high ratings and recommendations.  IMC has quality used and new saxes starting at just $695.00 including IMC’s exclusive one year of maintenance coverage.  In addition, new instruments are covered by manufacturer’s 5 year limited warranty.  

Get your start on saxophone today with a great instrument from Instrumental Music Company!  If you already have a saxophone, please have it inspected by an IMC technician to make sure that it is in optimum playing condition. Estimates are always free.

Meet Kevin Baker

Meet Kevin Baker- An Instrumental Music Employee

Q. What is your position at IMC?
A. I am a bookkeeper at IMC. 

Q. Where did you go to school? 
A. I attended UW- Green Bay and UW- Steven's Point. 

Q. Do you do anything with music outside of IMC? 
A.  Outside of IMC I am the drummer and manager of the regional band Boogie and the Yo-Yoz. I also teach private drum set lessons. 

Q. What do you love about working at IMC?
A. IMC is a very comfortable place to work. We are always straight with our customers and don't trick them into paying more than they should for our products. It is also nice going to work each day to be surrounded by music. 

Q. What is your advice for beginning musicians?
A. My advice to beginning musicians is to get as involved as possible. Don't limit yourself to just learning how YOUR instrument works. Learn music inside and out. What the other instruments are doing and why. Learn the theory of writing music and you will become a better reader of it as well as a better all-around musician.

Stop into IMC to meet Kevin and the rest of the team and learn more about Boogie and the Yo-Yoz here

Saturday, July 20, 2013

IMC Tent Sale Prize Winners

Congratulations to the IMC TENT SALE Prize Winners:
Yamaha FG700S Acoustic Guitar-Won by:
Greg Knipp
Yamaha Pockertrak PR7-Won by:
Tim Flaig

Friday, June 21, 2013

Juno Reeds

IMC would like to introduce you to an exciting new product. Designed and manufactured by Vandoren,  JUNO is the first reed made specifically for beginning students. It provides every clarinet and saxophone student the opportunity to succeed from the very first note. What makes JUNO reeds different from other ‘entry-level’ reeds is the immediate response the student will experience combined with the sound of a Vandoren.
They are available in Bb Clarinet, Alto Sax & Tenor Sax – Strengths 1½ to 3.

Why you should switch to JUNO

Instrumental Music Company believes that the student performance is the most important element because the sooner your students have success the longer they’ll enjoy the benefits of music. 


“Responded well throughout all ranges of the saxophone. Low register quite easy. Has the
sound of a Vandoren with the feel of a Rico.”
Jason Laczkoski – Yamaha Performing Artist

“My alto sax and clarinet players love the Juno reeds. They have a gorgeous tone!.” 
Jody Strnad, Band Dir. – St. Thomas More School (Green Bay WI)

“The JUNO clarinet reeds are a big hit….and they (students) like the red cases they come in “

“I had my 1st chair clarinet player try the sample Juno reed and she was absolutely amazed with the tone and responsiveness.” Greg Biba—Band Director; Waupaca Middle School (WI)